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> Trump's 'Slimeball' to speak at Blue Chip Casino, “The Ethical Leader" speech scheduled for 9/9/18
post Apr 16 2018, 06:32 AM
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Ex-FBI Director James B. Comey announced as speaker at Purdue Northwest's Sinai Forum in Michigan City

MICHIGAN CITY — Purdue University Northwest has landed controversial ex-FBI Director James Comey as the opening speaker to kick off its highly regarded Sinai Forum series Sept. 9.

This year’s Sinai Forum season will host five speakers through December, leading off with Comey, whose New York Times best-selling book set off a President Trump-led White House firestorm last week and is set for an official release Tuesday.

“(Comey) was a big catch,” Leslie Plesac, executive director of the Sinai Forum, told The Times Friday.

“When you look at the roster, it’s pretty impressive,” Plesac said. “We have had speakers in politics, journalism, sports, in foreign policy and in world affairs, but James Comey is up there. And it couldn’t be a more timely.”

Even before his high-profile firing by Trump on May 9, Comey had already become somewhat of a household name in the lead-up to the 2016 election, where he was heavily criticized for his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Comey was leading the FBI's investigation into Russian election meddling until Special Counsel Robert Mueller took over in May.

Since that time, Comey has penned a book titled, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership," appeared Sunday in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, and embarked on a whirlwind of a press tour to publicize the new tell-all book.

Plesac said while not all with agree with what Comey has to say, she hopes his appearance in the Sinai Forum will promote a healthy dialogue and challenge people to think critically.

“Our goal with the Sinai Forum is to bring people together, to create a welcoming environment and promote critical inquiry through conversation, not just with students and faculty, but with our community,” Plesac said. “The forum is an opportunity to come together, be challenged, learn something new, and to share in conversation in a climate of mutual respect.”

Plesac said Urschel Laboratories, Inc., the global leader in food cutting technology based in Chesterton, agreed to sponsor Comey’s speaking engagement.

Urschel Laboratories’ CEO Rick Urschel says the employee-owned company shares the forum’s vision of bringing together a diverse and interesting array of speakers in an intimate setting.

“Regardless of political affiliation, ethics is something I hold in high regard,” Urschel said in a university news release. “When presented with the opportunity to bring former (FBI) Director Comey to the forum, we immediately wanted to help so people could hear him tell his story.”

Comey opens the speakers series 4 p.m. Sept. 9 in the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City.

His speech, “The Ethical Leader," will detail his experience in public service, according to the university.

Hosting prominent speakers has been the cornerstone of PNW Sinai Forum’s renowned history, entering its 65th season this fall, according to Plesac.

The forum provides audiences a unique opportunity to hear notable speakers in an intimate, town-hall style setting.

Speakers typically speak 50 to 55 minutes, leaving time for a 30-minute question and answer, Plesac said.

The remaining four speakers for the 2018 season will be announced in late May and season series tickets go on sale in early June.

Since 1953, the Sinai Forum has hosted countless prominent figures, celebrities and world leaders, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Walter Cronkite, William O. Douglas, Oprah Winfrey and Mike Ditka.
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post Apr 28 2018, 10:53 AM
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From 'nut job' to 'slimeball': A timeline of Trump's insults aimed at Comey


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post Apr 29 2018, 11:33 AM
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Anyone who has targeted both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is someone I can respect.
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post Sep 10 2018, 07:32 AM
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Comey defends decision in 2016 Clinton announcement at Sinai Forum in Michigan City

Doug Ross

MICHIGAN CITY — Former FBI Director James Comey said he made the right decision when he announced just days before the 2016 election that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was under investigation over her use of a private email server.

After a summer of saying the investigation was closed, after finding nothing worth a prosecutor’s attention, the investigation team found more emails from her Blackberry among former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s account, Comey said.

He spoke before a sold-out crowd at the Sinai Forum’s opening session at Blue Chip Casino’s convention center Sunday night.

Telling Congress about the reopened investigation could influence the election, but not telling Congress would be concealing information, which he refused to do, he said.

That could have rocked the nation and harmed the FBI’s reputation if the president faced criminal charges based on information that had been withheld, he said.

Comey said he decided to “float up, float forward and look back” while trying to decide what to do. That meant looking toward moral and ethical principles, including the basic values of truth and the rule of law, and deciding then what he would say about the situation in three years.

Political ramifications shouldn’t be considered, he decided.

“I’m sure there’s a diversity of opinions about the decisions I made, and that’s OK,” he said.

Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump in May 2017, expressed his disappointment about what he sees as the GOP straying from the party’s basic values under Trump.

“I’m so concerned about the assault on values by President Trump, particularly truth,” Comey said.

“The things that attracted me to the Republican Party I don’t recognize in my former party anymore,” he said.

“I think the Democrats need to win” at least one house of Congress to provide a balance of power in the federal government, he said.

Trump shouldn’t be impeached, Comey said, because that would fuel divisions within the nation.

Integrity and truth, “that’s how we’re going to re-center ourselves,” he said.

“What do we have in common, exactly, as a nation? It’s values,” he said.

Comey acknowledged saying previously that Trump is not morally qualified to lead the nation.

“I describe President Trump as a forest fire,” he said.

“There’s going to be tremendous damage to the center of our country,” he said, but the nation will see new growth as a result.

From a historian’s point of view, the story of the nation is a line of progress. It’s a jagged line, with temporary setbacks like the rise of the KKK after World War I and the rise of McCarthyism during the Cold War, but each time that fever broke, he said.

“We’re always making progress, getting better,” Comey said.

Comey asked the audience to reflect on their attitudes.

“Think about what you thought about George W. Bush two years ago,” he said, drawing applause from the audience.

Then he urged the audience to think about their views about Barack Obama two years ago.

“These were people who were centered on the values of this country — imperfectly, but centered on it,” Comey said.

Negative comments by Trump and others about the Justice Department won’t do any damage in the long run, because no president is in office long enough to do that much damage, he said.

Justice Department personnel are feeling the effects.

“It’s hurting them now and sapping their spirit,” Comey said.

However, they also believe in the agency’s mission and core values, and that’s what drives them, he said.

“There’s not a deep state, there’s a deep culture, so it cares deeply about the rule of law,” Comey said.

After his speech, Pam Lignell, of St. Joseph, Michigan, said she changed her mind about him.

“I was upset with him. I was angry” after the 2016 presidential election, Lignell said.

“I’m really glad I came,” she said. “It changed my attitude.”

Lauren Winger, of South Bend, said she was glad to hear his latest speech on his tour promoting his book, “A Higher Authority: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”

“I’m glad he’s doing this. He needs to be heard,” she said.
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